Craig Meller, AMP chief executive, has resigned eight months ahead of schedule after his firm was found to have misled the Australian regulator over financial advice disclosures.
In a statement today, AMP said Mike Wilkins would takeover from Meller “effective immediately” in an interim role.
Meller would also lose a final bonus with the AMP board withdrawing “resolution four from its Notice of Meeting to the 2018 Annual General Meeting, which relates to an equity grant for the Chief Executive Officer”.
AMP has been hit hard in the ongoing Australian Royal Commission into financial services, which has focused on institutional financial advice practices over the last week or so.
Jack Regan, AMP head of advice and NZ – fronting up to the Royal Commission this week – admitted the firm had misled the Australian financial regulator on a number of occasions.
AMP chair, Catherine Brenner, apologised “unreservedly” in the statement issued today for any breaches.
Wilkins, former head of Tindall, would helm AMP while the CEO search continues, the statement says. Meller was due to step down at the end of the year with Regan touted among contenders for the role.
Meller said in the statement: “I am honoured to have been the CEO of AMP. I am personally devastated by the issues which have been raised publicly this week, particularly by the impact they have had on our customers, employees, planners and shareholders.
“This is not the AMP I know and these are not the actions our customers should expect from the company.
“I do not condone them or the misleading statements made to ASIC. However, as they occurred during my tenure as CEO, I believe that stepping down as CEO is an appropriate measure to begin the work that needs to be done to restore public and regulatory trust in AMP.
AMP said it would embark on a range of remedial actions, including:
- Customer remediation, with the program well progressed and 15,712 customers identified and $4.7 million fees refunded to date.
- An external review to ensure all fee for no service business practices have ceased. This review is now complete and has confirmed that the practices ceased in November 2016.
- An independent investigation into employee conduct. Based on the review’s findings, the Board will determine the employment and remuneration implications for any relevant individuals around the fee for no service matter.
- A review and complete overhaul of governance, systems and processes in the advice business.
- An enterprise-wide cultural audit conducted by an external consultant.